Senior Executives


The Senior Executive Service

The Senior Executive Service (SES) is composed of a core committed professionals who work hard at federal agencies. As a highly qualified executive corps, these professionals carry out a series of different tasks aimed at improving public services. SES brings together professionals from different educational backgrounds. Furthermore, it places them in a variety of industries such as justice, agriculture, records administration, security interior, defense, and energy.

The Office of Personnel Management

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) set minimum standards of SES candidates. These benchmarks are known as Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Therefore, professionals who are interested in pursuing a SES career must meet these ECQs. Since there is a large number of ECQs for executive positions, here we list some of them:


Executive Core Qualifications Fundamental Competencies
Leading Change Vision, strategic thinking, resilience, flexibility, external awareness, creativity and innovation.
Leading People Team building, developing others, leveraging diversity, conflict management
Results Driven Technical credibility, problem solving, entrepreneurship, decisiveness, customer service, accountability.
Business Acumen Technology management, human capital management, financial management.
Building Coalitions Influencing/ negotiating, political savvy, partnering.

The federal government manages the SES positions in the judicial, legislative, and executive branches through the OPM. By law, a SES employee is considered as a civil servant and can access to a world of opportunities and benefits such as life insurance, health insurance, thrift savings plan, holidays, Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

According to the OPM, SES members can earn between $119,554 and $179,700 per year. However, it can vary due to the fact that the SES vice-president received $230,700 in 2011. In general, professionals holding junior positions are promoted to senior civil positions. The full-performance grade is reached once professionals have the majority of ECQs and they are interested in SES positions.

If you are classified under schedule GS-14 or GS-15, you may be a potential SES job applicant. Browse through job announcements posted by the OPM. You can increase your eligibility for SES positions if you tailor your resume to meet the job requirements that are included on the job advertisement. Before submitting your job application to the OPM, read thoroughly minimum requirements, competences, and ECQs.

Finally, the OPM apply a whole gamut of hiring options to get the best industry's talent. For instance, some OPM's hiring options include: advertised vacancies, reinstatement or former federal employees, non-career appointment, etc. Therefore, prepare your job application and send as soon as possible to the Office of Personnel Management.